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The Suburbs of St. Petersburg

When visiting St. Petersburg, although the city is amazingly beautiful and interesting, sometimes it is nice to get a bit outside the city for a walk or for some fun in the also beautiful nature in the suburbs surrounding St. Petersburg. There are several great parks and palaces to see in the suburbs and they can all be fairly easily reached.

For a bit of a contrast to St. Petersburg, visit the city of Vyborg near the Finnish border. Vyborg has a unique architecture and spirit with its narrow medieval streets, castle on an island, the market square with a round tower, where now there is a nice, but inexpensive restaurant; the beautiful landscaped park Mon Repos, and a view of the snowy expanses of the bay with the bastion Pantserlaks. To get to Vyborg you can take the electric train or an express train from the Finland Train Station located at the Ploshad Lenina metro station. There is also a regular bus service from metro stations Devyatkina and Parnas. 

A bit closer to the city are many small towns well worth seeing, such as Pushkin, Gatchina, Peterhoff, and Pavlovsk. Pushkin is famous for the great Catherine's Palace with the Amber room, along with the magnificent park surrounding.

Peterhoff is a MUST see in the summer when the fountains are working, but it can also be a nice place to visit during the winter while the beautiful park is covered in snow. 

Gatchina with the Gatchina Palace was the favorite residence of the Grand duke, later Emperor Pavel Petrovich. The palace in Gatchina is less known, but just as beautiful, it is surrounded by three ponds with beautiful bridges and a wonderful park.

Pavlovsk is also very much worth seeing with the 18th century imperial palace of Paul I surrounded by a large English garden and park. The park layout is quite nice, during the summer it is a great place to walk and enjoy the nature with lots of opportunities to feed the friendly squirrels. During the winter months, you can enjoy the park by sledding and tubing on the trails and hills.

So don't forget to get outside of the city for a bit of fresh air and nature along with beautiful palaces while you're visiting St. Petersburg!

11.01.2011

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